County reverses decision on grader trades

Ponoka County reverses a decision to not trade in three graders.

A change in market conditions has caused Ponoka County to take a u-turn on a previous decision to not trade-in three graders for the coming year.

During the presentation of the public works superintendent report at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24, council revisited the topic of trading in three used graders and purchasing three new ones as has been recent practice for the county as part of their equipment renewal strategy.

Back on Oct. 27, council approved foregoing the annual trade-in based on information provided by administration that showed the benefits wouldn’t be realized considering the low Canadian dollar and the growing difference between the value of a new grader and what the county would receive for its used ones at auction.

Since that time, the price for used graders similar in model and hours of use to what the county has has become more favourable, prompting administration to request council adjust its thoughts on the process.

County chief administrative officer (CAO) Charlie Cutforth explained to council that some 2013 graders were recently sold at auction for $485,000 a significant difference than the $350,000 $400,000 price tag that had been discussed in October.

“If that’s the value our pieces of equipment could fetch, the difference between the lower dollar and the price for a new grader doesn’t matter too much,” Cutforth stated.

“However, there would still be a risk attached going to auction as our graders may not realize that value.”

That said, the suggestion from Cutforth and public works superintendent Herb Schwingel was that the county look into purchasing the three graders as per the regular replacement schedule while negotiating on pricing with Finning, a company that trades such machinery, as well as with Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers on a value of the used machines that would be sufficient and acceptable to the county.

Schwingel explained that the delivery time for the new graders would remain the same as usual late March however the price of the new orders would be locked in now, if the go-ahead was provided. He added the order could be set aside, if the used graders don’t meet the re-sale value the county is looking for.

“In the long term, given the economy, if we don’t get back the value for the graders we can always wait and maintain the previous stance of trading in six graders next year,” explained Cutforth.

In the end, council determined it would be best to try and stay with its regular replacement program, so it approved the order of three new graders subject to evaluation of the trade-in value of the used machines with a final decision expected on the purchase during the county’s 2016 budget discussions.

Road projects

Discussion took place among council members on whether to move forward on a pair of road construction projects administration have targeted to start this coming spring.

The projects one involving about five miles (eight kilometres) of Range Road 43 plus Township Road 440 and the other being the widening and paving of 5.5 miles of Menaik Road were brought to the table so the county could begin the process of getting landowner agreements and other permits in place so work could begin on the two projects as soon as spring arrives.

Council did approve the two projects proceeding, however council will still have the final say in whether construction starts when they finalize the funding during 2016 budget discussions.

Penalty taken off table

Council approved a recommendation from administration that will see one company catch a break on paying its 2015 property taxes owing.

The company, which was not named, had agreed to a payment schedule that would see the final payment made next February. However, as Cutforth explained, doing that would incur some tax penalties for the company, which may not be to the county’s advantage in the long term.

“In the MGA (Municipal Government Act), any taxpayer can ask for consideration to enter into a payment schedule for their property taxes without penalty. Normally though, those payments are completed before the end of the tax year, and since this particular payment schedule extends into the new year, the company would then be subject to penalties,” he told council.

What Cutforth suggested would be a more prudent course is that council approve the payment schedule and exempt it from the approximate $22,000 in penalties as the company is a big employer in the region, deals with a number of other municipalities and has been very diligent in working with the county on paying its dues.

Cutforth added he anticipates the county will be receiving more requests to enter into payment schedules from companies given the present economic conditions facing the oil and gas industry.

Funding request

Council approved their annual contribution to the Blindman Handi-van Society in Rimbey, despite the request for 2016 coming a tad early. The $20,000 from the county which was going to be added to its 2016 budget anyway will be used to assist in paying the salary for the handi-van’s driver.

 

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Lorne Fundytus. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
OUR COMMUNITY: Rimoka Housing Foundation has a new CAO

Rimoka Housing Foundation (RHF) has a new, yet familiar, face to fill… Continue reading

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

(Photo submitted)
RV fire in Riverside, Ponoka quickly extinguished

A fire that set a motor home in Riverside ablaze from an… Continue reading

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read